Last month, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee hired Republican communication expert Jim Dyke, based in South Carolina, site of an early primary. Another Republican, New York Gov. George Pataki, has consultants on the payroll in Iowa and New Hampshire — the lead-off states in the nomination process.Also in the story:
This time, South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson laughs when asked who's been to visit. "It's not who's been here," he says. "The only one who hasn't is Gov. Pataki."
Nine GOP prospects came to Dawson's state 16 times between the last election and Jan. 31 of this year, according to records kept by The Hotline, an online political newsletter. Five Democrats made six visits there over the same period. Iowa and New Hampshire saw even more traffic. Each state has hosted more than three dozen visits by possible candidates.